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Prospect Profile: Michigan S/LB Jabrill Peppers

Jabrill Peppers

Defensive back/Linebacker| Michigan| Junior

Height:5-foot-11*|Weight: *213 pounds

College Stats

2016: 72 tackles (47 solo), 16 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, one interception in 12 games;

27 rushes for 167 yards and three touchdowns; two receptions for 3 yards;

21 punt returns for 310 yards (14.8 average that ranked fifth in FBS) and a touchdown; 10 kickoff returns for 260 yards;

Lott IMPACT Trophy winner (defensive best in character and performance); Paul Hornug Award (nation's most versatile); finished fifth in Heisman voting; consensus All-American; voted Team MVP; first player in Big Ten history to win three individual awards (2016 Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year, Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year, Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year)

Career:125 tackles (87 solo), 21.5 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, one interception; 10 pass breakups in 27 games (25 starts);

45 rushes for 239 yards and five touchdowns; 10 receptions for 82 yards;

39 punt returns for 510 yards and one touchdown; 18 kickoff returns for 483 yards (26.8)

Combine Results

40-yard dash: 4.46 seconds (fastest by a linebacker; fifth when safeties are included)

Bench press: 19 reps of 225 pounds

Broad jump: 10 feet, 8 inches (tied for first among linebackers; tied for fourth when safeties are included)

Vertical jump: 35.5 inches (fourth among linebackers; ninth when safeties are included)

3-cone drill: did not participate

20-yard shuttle: did not participate


Summary:Peppers was quite the wild card, showcasing versatility at Michigan by playing cornerback, safety and linebacker on defense, running back on offense and being a dynamic return man on special teams. Would an NFL team prefer him to become an ace by focusing on one position? The importance of the nickel and sub-package defenses continues to rise, particularly on third down and against teams that often go with three receiver sets. Perhaps Peppers could carve out a role as a hybrid who is asked to play safety more frequently than linebacker in the NFL. His size and weight would be more along the lines of a safety. Peppers, however, was asked to participate with linebackers in on-field drills at the combine because it was his listed college position, and he didn't disappoint. In addition to timing and testing drills with linebackers, he also did on-field drills with defensive backs.

View images of Michigan S/LB Jabrill Peppers.

Stacking up: Daniel Jeremiah ranked Peppers as the 30th overall prospect in this year's draft, writing that Peppers is a "better athlete than football player right now" but has tremendous upside at strong safety. Mike Mayock and Bucky Brooks each concur that Peppers may be best suited as a safety. Mayock moved him from third to first among all safeties after the combine. Brooks listed Peppers at third among safeties.

Self-assessment:Peppers was asked at the combine about his versatility and where he sees himself best fitting in the NFL. He told media: "The bottom line is I'm a ball player, and I'm a hell of a ball player. And I intend to run fast, I intend to look smooth doing whatever it is I'm asked to do. And after a couple of interviews, I think these coaches pretty much know what they're gonna get. I'm just gonna keep improving to the best of my ability, stay grounded, ignore all the outside noise, nothing else matters to me, besides what they think and besides the way I play."

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